Obstructive neighbours stopping us from renting flat

by Readers Question

9:28 AM, 5th October 2017
About 3 years ago

Obstructive neighbours stopping us from renting flat

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Obstructive neighbours stopping us from renting flat

Revisiting the site after a while with an issue that is making the wife and I sick with stress.

We have a flat which we rent. We evicted the last tenant who owed us several thousands in rent and court fees. We still have not been able to get the bond back after the eviction order last November. We have had no rent from the property since April 2016 and have since also spent £20k renovating the flat.

The owners of the flat above changed the locks after our flat was broken into, which we were happy to pay half for. They also put in a security light without asking us and claimed £400 for, which is ludicrously expensive. Our electrician would have done it for £65. They also claimed that they changed the locks again which we were not prepared to pay for.

They have not got proper receipts for any of the work either despite us agreeing on getting quotes before any work is carried out. Whatever work was done, we do not believe the work was carried out professionally by a locksmith. This situation was inflamed by them pulling out of agreed work to be carried out on the exterior of the house for us and a neighbouring property. They did not tell us of this, instead they told the neighbour just before the work was due to start and gave excuses that we were bad landlords, with other reasons just too bizarre to list.

This is despite the wife and I paying thousands for work on the upper exterior of the house around their flat and roof and allowing them to put an exit to the rear of their flat to get access to the rear garden.

So… now that we have the place ready to rent, since the start of August the female who owns the flat upstairs puts on heels and jumps up and down on the floor with the TV on full blast every time someone comes to view the property until they leave. We have lost several prospective tenants to this activity. I was there last time it happened and recorded noise peaking over 100dB. Needless to say, the prospective tenants pulled out again. When outside the property the partner of the flat owner upstairs hurled abuse aimed at myself and my wife while his partner waved and laughed from the upstairs window.

Leading up to all this we have had a tirade of abusive emails which we responded to very professionally. We asked to resolve the situation through a mediation service which they refused. The upstairs owner then, incredibly, accused us of harassment and we had to engage with them through the police from thereon.

We are concerned that if we go legal to stop them ruining all our viewings it could cost a huge amount of money with no guarantee of winning the case. The council will only respond to noise pollution an hour after reported and the police see it as a civil matter so they don’t even have to open the door to them. So far we have got the council to send them a letter to warn them (it’s due to get to them tomorrow).

We also suspect that they have changed the front door lock again which means we cannot get in through the front door. We also have a side entrance (which they often lock from the other side as well).

The wife and I are at our wit’s end and don’t know where to turn next. Apologies for the huge rant, but I’m hoping that somebody out there will have been through similar and be able to offer sage advice.

Many thanks in advance.

Jimbo


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Comments

Gary Dully

14:27 PM, 7th October 2017
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Puzzler at 07/10/2017 - 09:01
I thought we were dealing with idiots, so I wouldn’t bother trying to be a hybrid professional.

These are people that act on impulse and base their double act on scenes from Eastenders and Hollyoaks.

I’m suggesting that you provoke them into showing more of their unreasonable behaviour.

Asking for permission to be videod, is all well and good, but it isn’t going to happen, is it?

Can I video you please? = No f*ck off

So get your friends to video them instead.

It shouldn’t be you taking them to court, it should be the Council.

They are sat on their arses at the moment, feeling they have won.
(Including the council)

You want them to feel unsure and insecure of their position, not the other way around.

You could just point a smartphone in their direction and shout “Action”, that should be enough.

If they react, just ask them if they want to do anything else whilst the camera is rolling?

Can you swear for me please?’ A couple of fu*ks and w*nkers will do nicely for the Police and County Court.
Any chance you could take a wiz from your window please?

Try, your friends on Facebook will be getting a copy of this, you’ll be going viral by 4pm.

Don’t take bullying from anybody, your occupation is called landlord, not victim.

You said you and your wife are at your wits end, that’s not fair on you or your wife.

I get similar problems ocassionaly and I’m quite happy to call the Police every hour on the hour if I have to, but it usually works after the first time.

If your local to me, I will confront them for you, I love dealing with tossers, I usually leave them trembling.

They always mouth off, but I just smile at them, it drives them crazy.

Puzzler

11:57 AM, 8th October 2017
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mandy Thomson at 06/10/2017 - 17:43
And even if they are true you leave yourself open to harassment charges. Since you have agents, you probably need to get good legal advice.

Puzzler

11:59 AM, 8th October 2017
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Gary Dully at 07/10/2017 - 14:27
You don't need permission just that they be informed otherwise it is not allowable in court so, tempting though it is, your approach is not legal, harassment at the very least and most likely counter productive

Puzzler

12:09 PM, 8th October 2017
About 3 years ago

Re-reading your post, you need to get round a table. Assuming there are only two flats and you are both owners of the freehold. Get a solicitor who can perform mediation. They say you are bad landlords, since you had problem tenants it seems they blame you for that, which is perhaps understandable. Only you can truthfully assess that (were proper checks done, lease complied with etc.). Would it be feasible to live there for a short while? Then you might get an opportunity to talk to them. They won't be able to keep up a sustained nuisance, if they do you have another issue and you will need legal advice. There is a general prejudice from owners in a block to those who let their flats, sometimes due to demographic differences e.g. older owners and younger tenants. Maybe they just need reassurance that the previous experience won't be repeated.

Matt

22:43 PM, 8th October 2017
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Puzzler at 08/10/2017 - 12:09
Puzzler, thanks for your comments. If we were dealing with normal people I would agree with your comments. Although my last tenant was a nightmare, that was for us as landlords, not the people upstairs. I would have got rid of her much sooner, but as you know, once you get into the legal proceedings it takes an age to remove people.
The people upstairs have refused mediation and we can only communicate through the police with them now as I mentioned, they accused us of harrassment, as ludicrous as that seems.
The council have now served them with a warning letter so I will contact the agencies tomorrow to see if they had any viewings over the weekend as they have both promised to diarise the events at the flat.
I'll report back on this to see if the warning letter has had any impact.

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